Bayelsa Guber: Alaibe as Gov Dickson’s Nemesis

Seriake Dickson

Eddy Odivwri

The Bayelsa gubernatorial election which took place two weeks ago, has come and gone. But the spin-offs will continue to dominate political conversations for some time to come, even after the sitting governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has choicelessly handed over to the APC governor-elect, Mr David Lyon, next February.

That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the state, twenty years after it had held on to the oil-rich state is no longer news. What is news is that under Gov Dickson, the state was lost to the rival APC.

Dickson had boasted that he is the first state governor in the state to serve out his two terms. True. It is also truer that he is the first governor to unwittingly cause a rival party to capture the state. That perhaps, is a more odious memory, especially for a state that had produced the president of the entire country, on the platform of the PDP. Right now, until the tribunals say otherwise (which is unlikely) the 2019 Bayelsa governorship election is history.

But it is a history that will always hold Gov Dickson in uncomfortable stitches.
Perhaps the story and analysis of Dickson’s fall from glamour to gutter will be a study on how not to become a political Absalom.

He is the outgoing governor. He was not on the November 16 ballot. So the focus of how the election was won and lost should be directed on Senator Douye Diri who was the PDP candidate and David Lyon, the APC candidate, and now governor-elect.
But because of the nefarious and treacherous role Dickson played, he has poured acidic odium on himself. And the decay is being activated inadvertently. Everybody is blaming him for the loss of the state to APC.

It is not for nothing. The Holy Book says, pride goeth before a fall.

That APC won Bayelsa State is not because APC suddenly became popular or worked so hard. No! It is the revolt of the people. They wanted to teach the cocky Dickson a lesson on the transience and limitations of power. Yes, he is in office, but the real power belongs to the people. They spoke the language that refused to accord with Dickson on November 16. And in three or less months, he would be stripped of all the nuggets of power that pump him silly.

Dickson literally assumed the status of God. He thought himself God, one who could do and undo and will not be queried or even questioned. But on November 16, Bayelsans reminded him of his mere mortality.

He had firmed up a plan of how he will pull out two sitting senators; make one a governor and the other a deputy. It was a selfish calculation. He wanted to go to the senate after Senator Lawrence Eghruwdjakpor representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, would have resigned, at his instruction.

Perhaps his plans would have worked in his favour, if and only if, he did not make the silly blunder of blocking Mr Ndutimi Alaibe from winning the PDP ticket during the primaries of September 3. It is difficult to understand why he was either afraid of or not trusting Alaibe. He swore never to allow Alaibe have the ticket, even when the whole world, literally clamoured for the candidature of Alaibe, knowing that he has the infinite capacity to turn the fortunes of Bayelsa around. But Dickson bluntly refused. Not even the intervention of the likes of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Ibrahim Babangida, Gen Gusau, King Turner etc. etc., could make Dickson change his mind. “… and I told them no waaaaay”, he boasted in one of his many audio messages that went viral. He spoke as if he was God. He behaved like the man who knows and has tomorrow in his pocket. It was great folly.
Alaibe was one man who had a perfect blue print on every bit of task required in effective governance. He had had these templates for over ten years. But “evil forces” will just not let him.

In Alaibe’s place, he chose a Duoye Diri, my friend, who was by no means a match to even half Alaibe, in every matter particular. Bayelsans were saddened. And they swore that Dickson would not have his way. So in effect, the battle was won and lost since September 3.

As an aside, it is difficult to understand why the coveted governorship seat has often looked very elusive and a mirage to Alaibe. Just when it looked like, “ohhh this time around, he’s got it in his kitty”, it slips off again and again. As they say in Christendom, It is well.

Some people have blamed former President Jonathan for sacrificing the state. Well, why won’t he, if he must? Do those querying the role Jonathan may have played remember that Dickson is a product of Jonathan? Do they remember that Jonathan it was who propped up Dickson and made him governor in place of Timipre Sylva’s second term bid? How therefore will Jonathan speak and Dickson would not listen? Dickson suddenly became a lord unto himself. Even during the February elections, Dickson opposed the PDP aspirant Jonathan had endorsed for the senatorial election. What kind of disloyalty is that? Did Dickson think he would be a governor forever? The consequence? Bayelsa East (Jonathan’s senatorial district) was won by the rival APC.
But that loss didn’t teach Dickson lesson enough of how not to bite the finger that fed him.
Now the final lesson has been taught him last November 16. And he is sulking!
Perhaps one other sore point was the failure of the PDP to rise to the occasion of calling Dickson to order. The way he was carrying on, he looked like an untamable giant. Indeed he boasted that he is the Ofuruma pepe (the great wild shark) of Bayelsa. Sadly, this shark has been beheaded politically.

The PDP, under Secondus has been tottering under the apron of governors. The protest by Alaibe over the arbitrariness of the primaries was ignored. They started grumbling only when Alaibe went to court, claiming that there were in-house mechanisms (which were never activated) to settle disputes. Now Secondus is among those licking his wounds as it marks him down in his leadership rating for losing a core state like Bayelsa
The refusal to allow Alaibe is thus the nemesis of both Dickson and his cohorts.
By February when the immunity gown will be dropped at the gate of Creek Havens, Dickson would return to what he has always been: an ordinary man, just like those who sell pure water sachet along Sagbama junction.

Sadly though, the APC governor-elect has flagged off a sickening signal of communication deficiency. His sentences are betraying the traits of someone who didn’t take the course content of GS 101 seriously, while in school. APC members can help him out with a few copies of Brighter Grammar.

In all, the outcome of the Bayelsa governorship has shown that the people are the ultimate owners of power. The revolution engineered through the ballot has worked effectively. And that is the recommended ethos of democracy.

For Dickson, another chapter of his life will open. He had come into governance with a wind, now he’s got to leave with a storm.